Branching Scenario Prototype in Twine

I built this branching scenario prototype in Twine, a free, open source tool for creating nonlinear stories. This scenario is moderately complex, with a total of 17 pages (or passages in Twine terminology) and 8 different endings. The ideal path has 5 decisions to reach the best conclusion.

Prototyping in Twine

I generally use Twine as a prototype for review and testing purposes. You can use Twine as the finished product though, especially if you do some formatting to make it look better. This is pretty rough (just text on a white background), but that’s OK for a prototype.

If you use Twine as a prototyping tool, you can build the finished version in Captivate, Storyline, or another tool of your choice.

Play the scenario

Try the scenario out yourself by clicking below (the scenario will open in a new tab).

Select to open the scenario in a new tab.

Branching structure in Twine

This is the map of the entire scenario. You can see how many of the choices are reused. One advantage of reusing choices is that it reduces the overall size of the scenario; this gave me fewer slides to build in Storyline later. This also gives learners multiple chances to recover after making mistakes.

Complete flow chart of the branching structure in Twine, showing multiple passages and possible paths.

Want to learn how I created this?

This is part of a series of posts breaking down the process of creating a branching scenario from start to finish.

More on Twine

I have also written several more posts about Twine.

Can’t get enough? Check out all of my posts on Storytelling and Scenarios.

Originally published 12/5/2017. Updated and republished 12/1/20.

19 thoughts on “Branching Scenario Prototype in Twine”

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  4. Hi, just wanted to ask how you gather feedback from clients on prototypes made in Twine? Is there a tool that you use or prefer that can collect feedback? Thanks

    1. When I send a prototype to clients for review, I send 3 things:

      1. A link to the prototype (on my server or the client’s site)
      2. A plain text export of the story (usually copied to Word with track changes turned on)
      3. A screenshot of the branching structure

      It’s not a perfect process by any stretch, but this has worked OK. I give reviewers instructions to click through the prototype first, going through a few times with different decisions to see how it works. After that, they can usually follow along with the text and do any wordsmithing in that version. The image of the structure helps them see the big picture and keep track of what they have reviewed.

      Another option would be a website review tool that lets reviewers take screenshots (or automatically captures them) and make comments right alongside the content. That would be especially helpful for larger, more complex scenarios.

      I have also explored Twine proofing formats, which are designed for tracking changes. I’ve written about Illume before, and that’s probably the most viable option for most clients. It requires some training though, and the reviewers need to export the comments and send them back to you.

      Within my branching scenario course, we use the poof format. That makes it really easy to comment on or edit individual passages. It works pretty well within the course, but it requires that every reviewer have both Twine and poof installed.

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  6. Thank you so much. I survived making my 1st storyboard using Twine2 . Your guides and videos made this process straightforward. I knew it would be a challenge, but I love learning new things. So did my 8 year old he’s building a game in Twine. I am off to begin IDOL Academy now.

    1. Hollie, that’s terrific! Congrats on creating your first storyboard in Twine! I’m impressed at your 8-year-old, and I bet his game will be really creative. My 8-year-old has just started in Minecraft, so all of her current creative efforts are spent there.

      Best of luck to you in IDOL Academy!

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  12. Hi Christy, Great job. I’ve been an ID for two years now and I’ve never tried twine but that looked great for a text scenario build. Keep up the good work.

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  14. Christy, I just found your site yesterday and I’m already incredibly grateful!! Your writing style is clear and you break down complex items in a way I believe I can actually do them. I’m attempting to build my first branching scenario to use as the learner quiz for a pretty robust topic of food safety. I have awesome SMEs (lucky!!). I’ve just started in Twine.
    Part of my hesitation is that I don’t quite understand the information from the SMEs. They have 20+ years in the food industry and the course we are building is for seasoned employees in the field. I’m brand new to this subject.
    Do you have any advice as to how to gain what I need from them to create my scenarios without perhaps frustrating them if I don’t understand? Or…embarrassing myself? 🙂

    1. Check out this post and the comment from Will Thalheimer below: 3 Tricks for Working with SMEs on Branching Scenarios
      The reality is that you’re not going to be a mini-SME on this topic, and that’s OK. Manage the expectations with your SMEs. You can massage their egos a bit by reinforcing that they are the experts and you need all their valuable help (which is true!). Your job is to be the expert on learning, not on the content. Of course you’re going to get things wrong sometimes. The SMEs are there to guide you and correct you when you get the content wrong. You are there to get the knowledge out of their heads and into a format where people can learn and practice.

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